WINSTON-SALEM — The Lady Bears rebounded from an nine-point halftime deficit to beat Winston-Salem Prep 64-51.
Mount Airy improved to 18-3 overall and 8-3 in the Northwest Conference.
The loss knocks Prep down to 8-2, just a half-game ahead of the Bears for second place behind Bishop McGuinness 9-1.
In the first quarter, the Lady Phoenix went ahead 15-11 and then 33-24 at the break.
Prep did a good job of getting the ball inside to Kyala Searcy and Celia Tibbs, who had a size advantage, noted Bear coach Howard Mayo.
In the second half, the Bear defense did a better job of pressuring the guards on the outside so they couldn’t find passing angles to the post, he said. Then when the Phoenix tried to drive around the defender, the help defense did a good job of sliding over to cut off the driving lane.
The Bears allowed just six points in the third quarter and cut the lead to 39-37.
Prep was ahead 42-41 when Alex Atkins hit one of her five 3-pointers on the night.
Once the Bears grabbed the lead, the team held onto it with great foul shooting.
Mount Airy sank 15 of 18 free throws (83 percent) in the quarter.
While Prep had a size advantage and won the rebounding battle, the Bears kept it close on the boards, which was very important, said Mayo.
Atkins and Kathryn Beasley grabbed 10 boards each, and the team had 37 overall.
Atkins led the team with 19 points, Davi Barbour had 11, Beasley and Ayano Shelton 10 each, Jasmine Varney seven, Mikayla Seivers four and Skyler Flippen three.
Mayo said Shelton has played well this past week coming off the bench, despite getting fewer minutes with both Atkins and Beasley in the starting lineup.
Shelton had two blocks, and Seivers had six assists and six steals.
Mount Airy will honor its seniors Tuesday as soon as the JV boys’ game is over. Then the Bears will have a chance to take down conference-leading Bishop.